Public Sphere Essay

1847 WordsOct 26, 20118 Pages
“The idea that a public sphere to which everyone can contribute on equal terms is simply a fantasy.” To believe that there exists a public sphere where every single member contributes on an equal level is highly unrealistic. Correspondingly, many academics have critically supported as well as argued against this view. There will be discussion of the public sphere and various writer’s views and concepts regarding it, with specific references to Howley (2007) and Turnbull (2006), as well as Hackett (2010), Holub (1994), Apppadurai (2000), Meikle (2008), and Fraser (1990). The different academics will introduce and discuss; an ideal and flawed public sphere, a democratic public sphere, and the important roles of audiences and participants.…show more content…
It ignores the ‘counter’ and minority public spheres of subordinate groups, the intrusion of social and economic inequalities into the processes of the public sphere, and the conversion of public opinion into effective state policy through representative political mechanisms.” (2010, p.4). Additionally, Fraser (1990) looks at how Habermas’ theory of the bourgeois public sphere constitutes a number of exclusions, in particular excluding women and individuals of lower social class, as it was not accessible to all. Lower class people did not have the resources and women did not have the same rights, privileges and power as men, in society, to have their equal say. Moreover some of these factors are still relevant, such as the social classes and accessibility to resources. Furthermore, Fraser (1990) mentions the exclusion of subordinate groups, where she states “subordinate groups sometimes cannot find the right voice or words to express their thoughts, and when they do, they discover they are not heard [and] are silenced, encouraged to keep their wants inchoate, and heard to say ‘yes’ when what they have said is ‘no.’” (1990, p. 64). It is evident, that this access, whether it is technological, power or status related, to contributing to the public sphere still does not equate to equality. Rather, the factors that need to be considered are not access alone, but also what kind of ‘voice’ the speaker possesses in society. All of
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